Deluges have so far affected 2 million people; over 300,000 have relocated
The flood hitting the middle and lower reaches of the Yangzte River has forced Anhui province to raise its flood response alert to the second highest level on Tuesday, while the flood peak is forecast to come soon.
An announcement issued by the provincial flood and drought relief headquarters on Tuesday night requires its five cities along the river－Anqing, Chizhou, Tongling, Wuhu and Maanshanto evacuate all residents from threatened areas.
Official information from the provincial government shows that the flooding has so far affected more than 2 million people. Over 300,000 people have relocated.
Based on the forecast from the Central Meteorological Center on Wednesday morning, areas including the vast central and southern parts of Anhui will see torrential rains, with rainfall volume expected to reach up to 120 millimeters between 8 am Wednesday and 8 am Thursday.
Provincial flood control authorities said major rivers would see flood peaks before the end of Thursday.
In the riverside Zongyang county of Tongling city, more than 13,000 residents had been relocated by Tuesday night.
Over 1,100 people who have nowhere to go have been provided makeshift shelters in 17 sites, including local schools, according to local officials.
Liu Yadong, Party chief of Zongyang, said the county is one of the areas most severely hit by the flood.
”A total of 1,020 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Armed Police have arrived at Zongyang for flood relief so far,” said Liu on Tuesday night.
”Though flooding happens frequently to the riverside areas, this year’s situation is far more critical than expected.
”Water levels of the Yangzte River and lakes in Zongyang are both very high, which means we cannot drain the water but must wait for the flooding to fade away,” said Liu, who patrols the local waters and flood relief sites every night.
The troops have helped to consolidate the county town’s anti-flood wall, which extends for 2 kilometers, with blocks of sand bags piled up along the wall.
He said if the water rises to a certain height, they should also raise the wall.
Hundreds of meters from the wall－a permanent one built with stones and bricks－a dike extending for 3.5 kilometers built with sand bags has been finished.
The local government workers have been working hard to persuade residents living between the two defense lines to evacuate, while “some people are reluctant to leave, because they don’t feel threatened by the water nor want to leave their properties”, said Yu Jing, a local community worker.
Xu Zhisheng, a senior official from Tietong town, which is located on an islet in the middle of the river, said more than 200 people have been relocated to the Chengguan Primary School and are receiving free meals from the government.
”Most of the people are seniors, which brings great challenges to the community workers to take care of them,” said Xu, who is also a community worker at the school.